Lou Reed R.I.P
Cherished Memories of Lou:
In the summer of 1969, after John Cale left the Velvet Underground, Sterling Morrison rented a house in Wading River, L.l. where I was living at the time, he became my neighbor, I was 14 yo.
Martha was Sterling’s girl friend who he would later marry, she subsequently became an art instructor at my school for the summer, we became friends because she was hot and she let me create all I ever wanted to create as well as hang out with her. I eventually became her assistant… re-arranging the seating in a “U” shaped plan so she could teach the kids better, designing t-shirts and just having fun… it was a Catholic Boarding School called “Little Flower”.
I remember this one nun, a Sister Francine who used to stare at Martha’s derriere because she wore tight denim cut-offs which were all the rage at the time… the girls called them, “hot-pants”.
Halloween in 1969 was at Martha’s, she invited me, so I went… she introduced me to Sterling & Lou and other folks who trickled in from Warhol’s Factory from Manhattan who journeyed to their house.
As the evening progressed I was given a substance , a barrel shape tab called “orange sunshine” … next day, I wound up at another party in the Hampton’s, (don’t ask!) and eventually made my way back home… forever changed.
Several weeks later, I turned 15… there was another party where friends of Martha’s were staying… I have very good memories of that party despite the fact the house burned down the next day… word was a cigarette had been smouldering in the couch which eventually ignited… the one fatality was a yellow canary.
I eventually ran away from school at 16… hitch-hiked to California and became a nobody… was picked up by the highway patrol and after a couple of months of being in their juvenile delinquent facility, I finally told them my name, where I was from, was subsequently flown back on a 747 Jumbo airliner… I sneaked into first class and partied with a widow on the second floor, we became wonderful friends after landing at JFK… whereby I ran away again… never to return, living a haphazard life traveling around the country, hitching back to California drifting up to Canada traveling back to NY via Niagara Falls and winding up in the Village where the rents were cheap, the parties plentiful, having art shows with others in a desolate, abandoned part of the city which was developing to become a hub for artists… SoHo.
I was now 17yo… almost legal & punk. (1971)
In 1979 Lou inspired me to create a magazine in order to show Warhol that his magazine, “Interview” was passe… so I did naming it “IMPACT” it was eventually mailed to Warhol which naturally irked him.
Later on, Lou married Laurie Anderson whom I promoted in IMPACT Magazine (1980), her perfomance at the Brooklyn Academy of Music truly was a historic event… another great memory.
Prior to his release of a song he had been working on in his head before 1972 (Walk on the Wild Side) Lou’s poetry and style had a great influence on my life as a youth.
Now that he’s gone, history is catching up with the fragments of all our lives. I hope a younger Teen Generation will see fit to keep his music alive… so many memories are washing over me like the tides.
God Bless Lou Reed, Sterling Morrison and the Velvet Underground!